Different Kinds of Fusion Experiences

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):203-222 (2020)

Alberto Voltolini
Università degli Studi di Torino
Some people have stressed that there is a close analogy between meaning experiences, i.e., experiences as of understanding concerning linguistic expressions, and seeing-in experiences, i.e., pictorial experiences of discerning a certain item – what a certain picture presents, viz. the picture’s subject – in another item – the picture’s vehicle, the picture’s physical basis. Both can be seen as fusion experiences, in the minimal sense that they are experiential wholes made up of different aspects. Actually, two important similarities between such experiences may lead one to think that they are experiences of the same type. In this paper, however, I will try to show that notwithstanding such similarities, these experiences are typologically different. For there are two dissimilarities between such experiences that are more relevant on this typological concern than their similarities. Indeed, unlike meaning experiences, seeing-in experiences are first of all recognitional experiences of a sort that makes them perceptual experiences as well. Moreover, again unlike meaning experiences, seeing-in experiences are fusion experiences in the substantial sense that the experiential whole is more than the sum of its experiential parts taken in isolation, for when such parts figure in that whole, they interact with each other. In a nutshell, unlike meaning experiences, seeing-in experiences are proper fusion experiences.
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DOI 10.1007/s13164-019-00456-7
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